Don’t be put off by their official name: microalgae. It sounds so . . . well . . .tiny, slimy and unappealing! And nothing could be further from the truth. So, if their name gets in the way, then think of them as “sea veggies” instead because you really need to know about them.
These sea veggies, namely spirulina and chlorella, are among the richest sources of chlorophyll. They’re one-celled, water-dwelling plants that have been on earth for a very long time. Interestingly, they reproduce by cellular division, which keeps them in a continual rate of expansion and growth, allowing them to also store incredible energy and to harbor extremely high nutrient content.
Among their nutrients are protein, vitamins, minerals, omega-3s and GLA fatty acids—fatty acids that produce something called prostaglandin 1, which is important for a healthy heart, vascular and immune health as well as healthy cholesterol, insulin and inflammation levels.
Additionally, sea veggies are abundant in beta-carotene and the nucleic acids ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which are known for their benefits to cellular renewal and to fight the natural aging process. Likewise, they are natural detoxifiers and possess anti-fungal and anti-bacterial biochemicals to support health.
Here’s part of their nutrient breakdown per 100 grams:
Protein: (compared to brewer’s yeast at 45%)
• Spirulina: 68%
• Chlorella: 55%
Vitamin A: (compared to carrots at 28,000 IU)
• Spirulina: 250,000 IU
• Chlorella: 55,000 IU
Iron: (compared to beef liver at only 6.5mg)
• Spirulina: 58mg
• Chlorella: 133mg
Chlorophyll: (even though cereal grasses and alfalfa rank high, too, with .2 to .54% and .2%, respectively)
• Spirulina: .7 to 1.1%
• Chlorella: a whopping 2 to 3%
RNA/DNA: (compared to sardines at a mere .8%)
• Spirulina: 4.5%
• Chlorella: 13%
So, here are some takeaways on these sea veggies.
Spirulina provides a higher concentration of digestible protein than about any other food—65% more than beef. It is also one of the richest sources of GLA, the precious fatty acid we mentioned earlier. Spirulina can support tissue, joint and vascular health, among other things. It’s also a powerful internal body cleanser.
Chlorella has a high nucleic acid content, is extremely high in chlorophyll and has a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids—20% by weight, the highest among microalgae. It can support the production of red blood cells, healthy cholesterol levels, and has something called “Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF),” which supports RNA/DNA replenishment in the human body. It also stimulates the production of interferon, an important protein supporting a healthy immune response.
You see? You really don’t want to do without these sea treasure troves—even if their names are a bit unusual.